Friday, May 30, 2008

Strawberry Sauce (Page 875)


  • Date: Thursday, May 22, 2008 -- 8pm
  • Location: Chicago, IL
  • Kitchen: Vigleik and Shihchi's Apartment
  • Fellow Chef: Shihchi
  • Dining Companion: Vigleik
  • Recipe Rating: B-

The quick-and-easy desserts in The Book are running quite low these days, but I have a couple dessert sauces left. I suggested this strawberry sauce to go with dinner last week at Vigleik and Shihchi's place. Reading the recipe, I thought, "How could this not be good?" It was disappointing though. It certainly wasn't bad, but it wasn't nearly as tasty as I had hoped. The first step in making this sauce was to make a simple syrup infused with orange zest. This, along with optional orange liqueur, was meant to give the sauce a nice orange undertone. The liqueur was listed as optional, and since we didn't have any around I left it out. This, I think, was a mistake. Essentially the sauce tasted exactly like pureed strawberries, with a slightly better texture. You might argue that is what a strawberry sauce should taste like, and maybe you'd be right! But it seemed very bland given that we went through the effort to make an orange-infused simple syrup. I tried and tried but I couldn't detect the orange flavor at all. The sauce also could have used more sugar, and a dash of salt. Those two additions would have given it a more vibrant strawberry flavor (and maybe even brought out the missing orange). This sauce might have also been hugely improved by adding the optional liqueur. If that is the case, then it shouldn't be listed as optional! As it was, it was just ok. The raspberry sauce in The Book is delicious, so if you are looking for a good berry sauce, go with that one instead.

This recipe isn't online.

Mike and Vero suggested that I add a list on the blog of equipment and hard-to-find ingredients which I need to finish the project. So, in the right sidebar, if you scroll down a bit you will find the Gourmet Project Wishlist. I am absolutely not trying to guilt anyone into buying me anything -- rather Vero and Mike said it would be helpful for people who want to contribute to the project but don't know what I need. The list will probably get longer, as I'm not sure I even fully realize all the things I need to finish the project (it will hopefully also get shorter as I find/borrow/receive some of the listed items!) If you want to send something and don't know the address to send it to, you can email me at I know the things on the list are crazy specific -- sorry about that, but that is what is called for in The Book! Thanks to Vero and Mike for the awesome suggestion! It is so sweet of you to want to help!


Eileen said...

Even though you described the strawberry sauce as a little disapointing, I still think it looks delicious in your picture.
It's my first time leaving you a message (Just found your blog a few days ago from Wall Street).
I think your project is amazing.
Keep up the good work. ^^

Teena said...

Yeah, it was pretty, but that only made it all the more disappointing that it didn't taste good!

Thanks for the encouragement. Enjoy the blog!

Kevin said...

The wishlist is a great idea, there are so many weird kitchen items I'm going to have to track down, thank you for compiling the definitive list. BTW, I think chana dahl are just chickpeas.

Jen said...

I've been reading your blog for awhile, and just wanted to give a little encouragement!

I, too, covet The Book, and even kept it checked out from the library for about a year before I finally bought my own copy. Though I haven't cooked from it quite as extensively as you have, I like to compare comments on recipes we've both done (we generally arrive at similar conclusions), and use the blog for some insight on choosing future endeavors.

I enjoy reading your adventures and hope you keep them coming - good luck!

Deniz said...

I am very curious about what type of food this will make: a carpet, darning, or upholstery needle. :)
Asked Brad about the Indian items. Will let you know if he's seen those on Devon-the Indian neighborhood in Chicago. (split skinned chana dal, split skinned urad dal, Indian red chile powder)

Deniz said...

Brad thinks we have all the above mentioned Indian items in our cupboards, so they definitely exist on Devon. Let us know when you need them.

Teena said...

Kevin: My list isn't totally comprehensive (yet!) but it's a start. Yeah, several people have said that to me about chana dal, but I think they are a different sort of chickpea than the usual kind you buy here... at least that is my understanding.

Jen: Welcome! I am glad you like the blog!

Deniz: Hmmm.... I actually don't remember what the carpet needle is for, but I assume it is for sewing up some big piece of meat! I'll keep you posted on that. That's great about the Indian ingredients. I actually only need some small amounts of each, so maybe I will just borrow them from your cupboard the next time I am there! Alternatively, Matt and I are thinking about coming to your party in Westerville (on July 5th?) so maybe I could get them from you them. Thanks!